groups of nuclei within the thalamus which elicit waves of electrical activity within the cerebral cortex. Many thalamic nuclei have been known to facilitate cortical discharges, inclusive of the reticular, midline, intralaminar, and ventralis anterior nuclei. Pacemaker neurons within the reticular nucleus stimulate cortical cells to fire in sync within the trend of slow-wave sleep.

THALAMIC PACEMAKER: "You can skip over the section about the thalamic pacemaker when studying for the exam."